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Ninetheenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

John developed his theology of the Eucharist, starting with his account of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus, having shared out bread - which was the staple of the society of that day - went on to talk about himself as the “bread of life.” The wonder of the Incarnation was that Jesus,the Word of God made flesh, was seen by the people around him as one of themselves. In fact they knew his family and where he came from. However, Jesus wanted them to know his real origin and the Father who sent him. John has no narrative of the birth of Jesus; instead, in his prologue, he tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This theme is continued with Jesus revealing his identity as Son and his relationship with the Father, who draws his children to him.

God had cared for the Israelites in the desert by feeding them manna, but that was earthly food and they eventually died. Jesus promised that what he was offering would give eternal life, brought about by his sacrifice of himself, for the Eucharist and the Cross are inextricably bound together.

The image of Elisha sitting under a furze bush wanting to die and the bread and water God provided for him, show how God works wonders when we least expect it. The eucharist is an everyday miracle, which sustains us through the hardships of life and draws into an ever closer relationship with the persons of the Trinity.